He’s six hours into his longest portion of his connecting flights, with yet another six hours and forty-five minutes left to go. How do I know this? I have been watching on and off for almost eighteen hours now a little green plane follow a little line and make progress to different destinations on my computer screen.
Honestly, I have not decided if “flight-stalking” is good or bad for this Momma. I found this website a while back that would allow the kids and I to “watch” their daddy’s virtual plane go from one destination to the next since he travels for work. That’s kind of fun for the kids and I.
However, when you are tracking a plane that is taking one of your children to the other side of the world to live for half of a year, it feels a bit different. Not so fun anymore.
I watch that plane that I can’t stop move further and further away from home. Away from his brother and sister. Away from his dad and I. Away from everything familiar.
Yesterday’s good-bye was hard. Very hard. Different from any other time he has said good-bye. This son of mine has traveled before. This is nothing new to us. He traveled to India for 2 1/2 months his summer fresh out of high school just about a year and a half ago. We have known his wings are too big for our city. The head knowledge of what is happening is there. However, the heart is what you have to argue with. The sheer length of time he will be gone this time is what hurts this Momma.
As I stood there at the airport and watched my boy who is now a man walking away from me through that line, I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. I tried to take in every little thing. Camera in hand. Being the kind of Momma that was surely embarrassing my man-child. Knowing that he loves me in spite of me. Needing to capture every last moment. Walking away…there he goes. Through that last check-point. Taking everything out of that airport check-point bucket. I wait. I watch.
There it is. That one last turn. That smile that has melted me for almost twenty years. The wave. I snap the picture.
I follow his movement until he is gone. Gone. Six months of not being able to hug my son just because I want to and can. Six months…
I turn willing my feet to leave that spot and actually have to tell my head to make my body leave that airport. Then it starts. The ugly cry. The gasping for breath, realizing that I think I have not been breathing for the last ten minutes. The tears begin. I don’t care who is around. I don’t even remember if anyone else is around. I start walking then. Quickly. I have to leave, quickly. Or I won’t leave.
Leave. Away. These words hurt. They sting.
But words like Forward. Toward. These words grow dreams. Give Hope.
This, I will cling tightly too. For the next 180 days. Counting down toward seeing my son face to face again. Looking forward to hearing the stories and adventures that he had during this time. Letting go a little bit more. Letting him go toward what the plans are for his life. Plans not put into place by me.
Plans that can’t be stopped. Shouldn’t be stopped.
Just like that little green plane that now has five hours and 59 minutes left on this leg of the trip.
I love you son. See you soon…